Category Archives: Restaurants

35 DENTON: Parking…

35 Denton is about to happen. The 2016 edition of the world-renown music festival occurs March 11-13. An amazing line-up is poised to take over Denton for those three days and will take place, as usual, within walking distance of the Square. If you haven’t gotten your tickets/passes, what are you waiting for?

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All the information you need is at: 35denton.com

Four to five thousand people are expected to attend the festival. A good question to ask is “where is everyone going to park”? The festival is walkable, the trek from parking maybe not so much. The festival itself will consume Williams Square, the large parking area southeast of the Square, eliminating a little over 200 parking spots.

So…..again…..where to park?

For the second year in a row, Lucky Lou’s, Cool Beans and Riprock’s, in the heart of the Fry Street district will answer that question by providing parking AND a free shuttle from the ample parking around Fry Street to the festival site.

It works like this:

You can park directly behind Lucky Lou’s for $3/day or at the free UNT parking lot at the corner of Welch and Mulberry to the southeast of Lucky Lou’s. Then enjoy a sparkling adult beverage at one or more of the three bars while you wait for the shuttle which leaves (and returns) every 15 minutes.

Parking areas in red

Parking areas in red

The shuttle departs from the front of Lucky Lou’s at 1207 W. Hickory, delivering you safely to the front of East Side (where if you you think about it, another beverage could be obtained) after a quick, chauffeured ride through the historic Hickory St area.

After the festival, simply do all this in reverse. (Including a stop at one or more of your 3 generous shuttle hosts!!).

This year’s 35 Denton promises to be bigger and better than ever. Parking near the Square will be difficult at best. Avoid the hassle of parking downtown and use the easy shuttle service provided by Lucky Lou’s, Cool Beans and Riprock’s……you’ll be glad you did.

And remember …….35 responsibly…..

The plan....

Dentoning………you can do it!

From time to time, our ability to go about our daily Dentoning becomes hampered. This of course, is not a good thing. Sometimes this hampering is unnecessary and avoidable…..like when you’re just too tired (never a good excuse), other times it IS necessary and due to situations which will lead to better and improved Dentoning.

The plan....

The plan….

Such is the case now with the construction on East Hickory Street. The large scale work being done to the street, parking areas and sidewalks is a temporary pain which will result in a much better Entertainment District.

Hickory Street construction

Hickory Street construction

The hampering caused by said construction is truly minor. We can still get to anywhere we want on Hickory St…….it just takes a slight degree of additional effort.

That slight degree of additional effort has caused a bit of a problem in that some people don’t want to exert that effort and the businesses along Hickory Street are struggling.

I’m not going to tell you that Dentoning isn’t all fun and games…….it IS, but one must, at times, make the most of less than ideal situations……..for the greater good. The construction is temporary and eventually will be a mere blip in our remembrances, but right now we need to overcome the perceived inconvenience and take our Dentoning to Hickory Street…..

….for the greater good.

There are are six excellent restaurants on Hickory Street……Rusty Tacos, Hoochie’s, Mellow Mushroom, Andaman, Weinbergers and Queenie’s. There are also other businesses such as Vigne, Noles, Weldon’s, Shine It Auto Detailing, Campus Barbers, Bell & Oak and Hickory Street Lounge…..

All of these fine establishments are being adversely affected by the re-do of the street.

Let’s ignore the slight inconvenience of taking a few extra steps, dodging giant City trucks, circumventing plastic orange fencing and the slight chance of drowning should the excavated portion of the street re-flood.

It’s not a big deal!

Cool new bridge!!

Cool new bridge!!

So, let’s all join hands and……..no, let’s not do that…..

Let’s just put on our big boy/girl underwear, overlook the construction and make an effort to patronize the businesses along Hickory Street during this temporary, yet much needed minuscule hampering.

….for the greater good.

Dentoning….We-Do Walnut….Dry run

The vision to close permanently Walnut St (1/2 block south of the Square) is growing legs. A dedicated group of local business people and interested citizens is working diligently to create a block-long oasis in downtown Denton. As covered in previous Dentoning blogs, the plan is to close Walnut Street to vehicular traffic, clean the “alley” and then create an urban park……with trees, grass, shrubberies, benches, other seating areas. This would be done with the City of Denton doing only what it has to, with the remaining labor, materials and talent provided by volunteers.

Much work has already been done, including discussions with the City of Denton. One thing the City requested was having an event or three to provide an example of how the idea would work. So……..on Friday, February 28, Walnut Street will be closed and the first Mardi Gras on Walnut will happen starting at 5:00 pm.

We-Do Walnut

On the 28th, Walnut Street will be closed at 8 am and clean up of the unsightly alley will begin. The street will then be transformed into a mini- New Orleans, pedestrian-only area for that day. The festival will start at 5 pm. There will be a stage featuring Dixieland/Zydeco music. Community Market vendors, jugglers, surprises, Cajun food, and libations which can be freely carried within the festival area will be available. There will also be mask, costume and float contests (floats can be kid’s wagons or anything 6 feet long or less).

Mardi Gras on Walnut

Mardi Gras on Walnut

Mardi Gras on Walnut will be the first of what is hoped to be an annual event ……..and is FREE!! The event will be family-friendly and the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for awesome weather………..!!! Tell your ma, tell your pa and tell all your friends. Put this on your calendar now!!

What better way to spend a pre-Spring evening in Denton!!

Dentoning….a new attitude

Again……this is just my own personal, correct opinion, but I think every Texan and especially Dentonites have every reason to have an attitude. What is there NOT to have an attitude about?? It’s basically a birthright, or a moved-here right……whichever. We live in a COOL place……….and it’s about to get cooler.

When I first saw the brick façade coming off the front of the old Denton Independent Hamburger Company on the south side of the Square, I wasn’t very happy about it. I saw destruction of old Denton, but as it turns out, that particular part of the Square is not that old….. Then I saw the roof top bar going up and I thought “there goes that part of Downtown”. But what I saw today completely changed my mind and won me over. The new can co-exist with the old, the roof top adds to the Square…it doesn’t take away, and Denton is about to have a place to add to its swagger.

Downtown sign

Lone Star Attitude

Lone Star Attitude Burger Co. opens it’s doors November 11 and it will amaze. As you enter the street level floor, you are greeted by greatness. The mural on your left has sparked a little controversy, but the God I know has a sense of humor. The mural is “The Last Supper” of Texas music (my title). Jesus is still at the center of the table, but he is surrounded by Texas musicians of today and yesterday.

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The mural was produced by a group of artists and is chock full of minutia and hidden meaning. It’s one of two centerpieces on the lower floor. The other is a giant metal Texas behind the bar…….covered with Texasy musical instruments…….a star emblazoned on an electric guitar sits squarely over Denton on the musical map. The place radiates the music of our great State and that of our fair city. I don’t want to give away all the secrets, but the walls, nooks and crannies of LSA tell a story………and it promises to be an ever-changing story.

Music/Texas

Instruments of Texas

Morrison Milling

Back view

The upstairs of the downstairs overlooks the mural, the map and multitudes who are bound to frequent the place. The leather booths are finished with shotgun shell butts and and what Texan doesn’t like ordinance nearby while eating?

The rooftop far exceeds what I expected. The openness of the area provides views of Denton none of us have ever seen. The Courthouse dominates the north end of the building and will be an incredible backdrop to the live music coming from the stage above the keyboarded staircase. The roll-up doors/walls provide protection from the elements, but won’t detract from the views. I really don’t want to oversell the place…….it will sell itself.

Denton Courthouse

The Courthouse view

And the food……..it’s typical Texas fair with lots of surprises……..good surprises. I think anyone who really misses Denton Independent Hamburger Co. will get over it. Lone Star Attitude is a great replacement and a great addition to our already remarkable Square…. It opens Monday……..check it out.

Disclaimer: the author of this somewhat (deservedly) gushy post received no swag for its publication.

Enjoy Denton!

Dentoning….Culinary Internationalization

As I told my brother the other day, Denton changes every day. And it always changes for the better! Denton has always had a great selection of restaurants, but it just scored big in the international catagory with the opening of Viet Bites. This new Vietnamese restaurant opened a few months ago at 702 S. Elm Street in the old Tom and Joe’s building. Gone are the old jukebox equipped booths and smoke patinaed walls. The old building that so many Dentonites remember from back in the day, now has a bright, clean, modern look. And the food…..

Viet Bites

Viet Bites

The food is a style from central Viet Nam, specifically the town of Dalat, from where the owners of Viet Bites, James and Victoria Trinh, hail. After leaving Viet Nam, the Trinh’s settled in Houston (I didn’t ask why, but expressed my condolences). Recently, the couple decided to open a restaurant to showcase their love of cooking , and the cuisine of their home country. James quit his corporate job and their first thought was to relocate to Dallas. Denton relatives encouraged them to check out Denton also, they did, fell in love with our great town and WE won over Dallas! The food at Denton’s newest restaurant is fresh, fast and financially frugal.They start things out with a bowl of rice chips which is a nice change from the corn chips of our ever-present Tex-Mex fare. Viet Bites boasts egg/spring rolls, pho (pronounced “fuh” not FO), noodle bowls, sandwiches and rice entrees. The Crème Brûlée is the best in Denton…..no Texas, ….. no, the best I’ve ever had.

International food

Appetizer at Viet Bites

Viet Bites is a refreshing new addition to the dining scene of Denton. The owners are extremely nice and extremely happy to now live in our great city. The servers are very attentive and the food incredible! My sons and I eat Vietnamese food whenever given the chance. When my youngest, Connor, was just learning to speak, he inevitably said “Bee Bee Bees!!!” (“Vietnamese” in young Connor-speak”) when asked where he wanted to eat out.

Connor, we now have a great Bee Bee Bees place right here in Denton!!!